I don't want to boast.....but oh heck, yes I do!
I work for a good company with a great group of people doing a challenging and rewarding job. It's not what I planned for myself when I was in university but a lot of my life hasn't turned out exactly as planned and that's fine because I don't think my plan was all that great to begin with!
In a bid not to get myself fired I am diligent in not citing specific corporate references. All bloggers have heard the stories about the flight attendants who got fired after trashing their employers online and then giving away the company identity. Not good public relations and corporations don't look to kindly on that type of behaviour.
So I won't risk my job and give it away. If you are one of my colleagues and you're reading this (and I know there's lots of you!), you'll have a bit more insight. Please respect the confidential nature of the blog.
The company is a big UK employer with over 30,000 employees worldwide. We operate in the UK, North America, Africa and mainland Europe including Scandinavia (which some consider Europe and others don't). I've worked for them for over 5 years and always struggled to find a match between my skills and their corporate culture.
I've been a Project Manager for the last 14 years or so. My specialty has developed into going into projects that have gone off the rails and getting them back on course. I tired of that a few years ago and have been desperate to get out of project management. It can beat a person down to always be picking up someone else's steaming pile of poo. Team morale tends to be quite low and the stakeholders are pissed off and everyone hates you before you've even started. A person can only do that for so long. OK, they payoff is great once you've sorted it and got it back on track, especially when the project actually gets implemented. But by then people tend to be embarrassed that it took so long or spent so much money and don't even want to celebrate. And then I move on to another pile poo.
But for the very first time ever, I've got a permanent team with real objectives. I've got a great boss (well, best as can be expected really) and he's now been my boss for almost 9 months. This is a record since in the past I've had 10 bosses in the past 5 years! 4 of those I had during 1 year whilst I was on maternity leave. He knew when he took me into this role that I didn't have all the skills required. He has quietly mentored me (ok, not so quietly at all). Our styles tend to be well suited to each other. He gives me a hard time and I take it and I give him a hard time and he takes it.
And I've got a great team of people who work for me. That's them in the picture on the left (with only a few people missing). These people are so dedicated and clever. They work days (and nights) on end to solve problems. They balance on the edge of the technology curve in a company that has never been even near the technology curve. What we do has the power to absolutely transform the way we do business internally with each other and externally with our customers. They believe in the vision and want to be a part of the execution. We all went on a day out on Wednesday last week to a theme park (Thorpe Park). We rode the roller coasters and water slides and got our adrenaline pumping. Boy, they don't make them like they used to. There was one called Stealth which basically does 0-80 in 2.3 seconds straight up then straight down. Literally. It is raw thrill seeking. I couldn't believe I did it. And doing ti with the team was a great adventure!
I also work with a team of colleagues that are also pretty amazing. They are clever and supportive. They inspire me to be better than I am. And are patient when we don't see eye to eye.
It has been a rare occurrence in my professional career that I've had the opportunity to believe in the work I do and the people I do it with. Sure the stress levels are off the chart at the moment. Everyone wants a piece of me, my team and our time. But that just means we are doing something right. And the right people are doing it! It's all about the people!